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Percy Public Library
December 13, 2011

Public meeting on application to the National Register of Historic Districts for the Downtown Greenville Historic Business District. Monthly meeting for the Commission to follow the public meeting.

  • 5:00 p.m. Meeting opened by Bill Gatlin, Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH)
  • Mr. Gatlin gave an overview of what the National Register does and does not do. Pointing out the differences of the National Register District and the Local Historic District. After his power point presentation the floor was open for public comments. Mr. Jerry Hafter, local downtown property owner presented his objections to establishing a National Register District and basically requested what legal maneuver he could use to stop the nomination. Mr. Gatlin pointed out that in the National Register District there is no requirements for the property owner to do anything. The tax credits and those requirements for tax credits were strictly voluntary. Mr. Shields also voiced his objects by voice and also by letter to the MDAH. In support of the application was Al Brock, Lorenzo Anderson, Betty Lynne Cameron, Benjy Nelken, mayor elect Chuck Jordan, John and Lynn Cox , Vicki Myers (MDAH), Russell Archer (Historic Preservation expert), and others. Bill Gatlin said that they would take all comments under advisement, and the meeting was closed at 6:35 PM.
  • Historic Commission Meeting opened at 6:40 PM by Princella Nowell, Chairman. Guest: So noted above.
  • Commissioners present: Princella Nowell, Melanie Sanders, Emmett Smith, Walley Morse, Johnnie Pearl Gibson, and Anne Martin. Betty Gibson and Dell Jones excused. Dorothy Williams absent.
  • Minutes of meeting November 8, 2011 read and approved.
Old Business
  1. Local Historic District Ordinance was held up in the Ordinance Committee.
  2. Application to the National Register for the Downtown Greenville Historic Business District was at MDAH and Russell Archer had requested payment. Vicki Myers (MDAH) suggested we pay ½ of the fee of $4,500.00 and the other ½ upon acceptance by the National Review board in January. Johnnie Pearl made the motion and Emmett 2nd to pay the $2,500.00, motion passed and check issued.
  3. Letters concerning the application to the National Register for Does/Carousel/Historic District to be presented January 19, 2012 were received and those involved notified of that application.
  4. The post for the John Fox marker had been received and Brad Jones and Benjy Nelken had gone to the old bridge to find a fitting piece of the bridge to go with the marker to make a fitting display at the Welcome Center.
  5. The Commission had received notice that the Community Heritage Preservation-Round 8 Grant award had been awarded to the Commission for $ 135,000.00. Of that MDAH was pay $108,000.00 and the Commission responsible for the $27,000.00 the rehabilitation of the Y&MV railroad depot is vital in the future plans for the Commission. The grant period will run through December 1, 2014. A required workshop for the Grant in Jackson on January 27, 2012 will be attended by Walley. Preliminary discussions on hiring an architect were done, with input from Al Brock on using local talent in the Design/Build concept. Pricella still suggested we use the talents of Belinda Stewart in the rehabilitation process. It was decided to meet with Larry Jones, Delta EDC executive director, to establish his needs as a future tenant.
  6. Bank Statements were reviewed with the notation that Walley had deposited $20.00 of personal funds in the Planters Bank account to keep it active.
  7. Walley had received an e-mail from Christine Madrid French, Director, Modernism + Recent Past Program with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Western Office. She suggested the commission submit for the grant with the application due February 1, 2012. Melanie made the motion and Johnnie Pearl 2nd and motion passed to submit for the grant.
  8. CLG grants for next year were discussed with some revisions for signage and web site additions. The amount and type of signage will be determined by the funds the commission has available. Final request for funds will be due by March 2, 2012.
  9. Johnnie Pearl gave a short update on Thea Bowman. The information had been presented to MS Dorsey for consideration.
  10. Anne Martin gave an update on the oral history program with request for the commission to submit names and also for Walley to FIND his list of interested persons.
  11. Russell Archer gave an update on the Washington County Courthouse application to the National Register. He was in the process of submitting a simple contract for the Board of Supervisors to sign. His application will stress the significant event of Leroy Percy’s speech at the courthouse which in essence unified the community against the KKK that was very strong at the time in 1922. Mr. Archer felt confident that the application would be ready to be considered by the May 2012 review board meeting.
  12. The Hollandale Historic Resource survey also being done by Mr. Archer, according to Russell was on tract. Dell Jones had supplied him with some information but he noted that recorded history on Hollandale was sparse. Dell had some addition information that she was sending him.

New Business

  1. Stacy Childress had notified Walley that he had an old LARGE photo of the Leroy Percy Park that he wanted to present to the Commission. He was coming to Greenville Saturday and would call Walley and give him the photo. Princella noted that local resident Mrs. Gamble was chair of the State Board and was instrumental in the establishing of the first state park in Mississippi which was Leroy Percy Park.
  2. S. Evans Jones, 4th year architecture student at University of Arkansas has requested photos of Main Street Greenville in studying the evolution of the architecture from the 1950’s to today, and how it affected the socio-political and economical influences during each decade of that time frame. Walley sent a variety of photos from downtown and downloaded many on CD and sent her.
  3. Jeff Amy, reported with the Associated Press in Jackson had request any information the Commission could come up with on Isaac D. Shadd, a 19th century black politician was the last Republican speaker of the House of Representatives (1870-1871) until the recent election. Walley had contacted the library for any information that they had. It was believed he was the editor of the Greenville Herald newspaper from 1886 to 1889, and died in 1896 and buried in Greenville. Walley had went to the black cemetery and tried to look at headstone, but the cemetery was in such disarray it was difficult to find anything. Mr. Shadd’s brother, Abraham W. Shadd, who was the first black lawyer in Mississippi, operated a saloon and was elected circuit clerk in Washington County, died in 1878. Mr. Hafter suggest the commission look in the book “Redemption”.
  4. Walley had received an e-mail; most of the e-mails come through the Commissions website www.jgwchpc.com, from Edward Gonzalez-Tennant a faculty member of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He wanted to create a longterm, multi-year archaeological project exploring the interaction of historic Chinese, African, and White communities in the Greenville area. Second, he wanted to make the results of the cemetery survey available to the public for use by descendants and genealogical researchers. This second goal reflects his personal desire to make academic research relevant to the wider public. Walley had suggested he could use our website as a platform for that goal. He had put him in contact with Kathy Wong (820- 0707), who is on the Chinese Cemetery Board, on November 9, 2011.
  5. Meeting adjourned at 7:12 until January 10th 2012.
— Minutes done by Walley Morse, Secretary.
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